You may have preconceived ideas that magic mushrooms are the party drugs of days past. However, in Canada and other countries, regulations are starting to ease on these prohibited psychedelics. The impetus stems from clinical trials showing remarkable results in treating post-traumatic stres…

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It’s that time of year again, when the list of Oscar nominees is released and I feel terribly out of touch because I haven’t actually heard of (let alone seen) 98% of the films. I know I’m not alone, though; if you google “Oscar Nominees,” as I obviously did, it will likely suggest a related…

My heart sank as I walked into the den. Our puppy, Baxter, had been at it again. He can be a terror. Yet, I’ve loved him since I first laid eyes on him. We didn’t really plan on getting a puppy but those big brown eyes melted our hearts. He looks a little bit like Scooby Doo, too. When we he…

What is one of the most common health problems that develops in people as they age, and also one of the least discussed? The answer is chronic swelling of the legs. At best, it’s a natural consequence of aging. But also known as peripheral edema, there can be medical, nutritional, or lifesty…

Despite winter being well underway, we’ve had a pretty mild season here so far in Connecticut. With the exception of a very cold Christmas week, temperatures have been generally tolerable and we haven’t received much snow *knock on wood*, so I’m pleased to report that I’ve been able to take …

This past week we celebrated the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As I was watching the tributes on television, I had a flashback to 2010. I was celebrating the faith and witness of Dr. King that day. The congregation had just sung “We Shall Overcome.” I was about to offer the pra…

My husband and I moved to Westerly in 2017 to live in a walkable downtown. Our dream was to be able to walk to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the library, and shops. Westerly has evolved over these five years beyond our dreams, with the addition of movie theaters, live entertainment and ot…

A Moroccan proverb claims, “If a man leaves little children behind him, it is as if he did not die.” A Sanskrit saying translates as, “A house without children is only a cemetery.” Having children may be central to sustained human life. But over the past several years, there has been a cresc…

I like to think that I’m of average intelligence and have a decent skillset for a person my age. I’m a librarian, after all, and a mother, so I spend most of my day passing information on to other people (and changing diapers). But then something happens — I attempt to remove a car seat on m…

Everyone knows what a will is. But, do you know the importance of having one? What this document means and the reasons why you should prepare a will? And what happens to your money and property if you don’t have one?

I was nervous. I got on the bus anyway. My daughter told me it would bring me right into the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. Buses make me nervous. Maybe it is because there is a stop on nearly every street corner. The routes don’t seem to be as straightforward as the subway tr…

It’s been said that parents should be nice to their children. “After all, they are going to choose your nursing home.” So is it a punishment or reward when children choose to help their parents stay living in their own homes?

We all (should) know that the third Monday in January is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when we celebrate the life of the prolific activist who was killed on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. Did you know, though, that this is the only federal holiday that is also a designated Day of Service? Ma…

When I think back on what a child of television I was in the ’50s and ’60s, I can hardly believe that now my viewing has been reduced strictly to Lester Holt giving me bad news each night, then telling me to take care of myself and each other and the Reagan family on “Blue Bloods.” That’s it…

Curious, in my reckoning, that at one end of downtown Westerly’s main commercial corridor there is a restaurant — High Hope Tavern at 12 High Street — with a $28 hamburger on its menu, and at the other end, a bookstore — Savoy Book Shop & Café at 10 Canal Street — where the employees vot…

It’s hard for me to do what I do and not be considered “my brother’s keeper.” My motives are very simple; look out for caregivers and those they are caring for. When I started serving the families of those with Alzheimer’s dementia over 20 years ago, it was an eye-opening experience to say t…

It wasn’t the first time it happened. It wasn’t because I wasn’t being observant. I did my due diligence. I looked high and low. I went branch by branch, from right to left, from top to bottom. After I’d checked, I double checked to make sure I hadn’t missed any of the ornaments. Then I carr…

It’s a beautiful morning, in a brand new week of a brand new year! If you’re a person who thrives on new beginnings and New Year’s resolutions, you may be putting those into motion today. For others, perhaps your biggest goal is just to write the correct year on your checks. Both are accepta…

The Year 2022 is coming to a dramatic end for the first responders in your area. It has been a busy couple weeks for your local fire and EMS agencies as they have braved seasonal challenges and access issues to help the members of your community this holiday season. Freezing temperatures, hi…

It was 18 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. It began with a simple question. “Do you have a Santa cap?” With a wink and a nod I had passed my audition and was invited to play Santa Claus for a couple of little boys in our church. I got up the next morning and was so excited.…

As 2022 comes to a close, grave existential questions loom. Is the doomsday clock ticking louder? Have we harmed our planetary home beyond repair? Is the global economy headed for collapse, or will a reckless war end all things?

The last week of December — the days between the holidays and the new year — always feels a bit like being in limbo. If you’re looking to stay busy, but have no urge to be productive, our staff have come through with a list of their favorite books and movies that came out in 2022.

Right after Thanksgiving Lori, the girls and I went out to get our Christmas tree. There was no way that we were going to get a “pre-cut” tree this year. With two of the girls living nearby, they wanted to renew a family tradition. They reminded me that when they were younger we would always…

There’s a lot of “stuff” this time of year — the stuffing in the turkey, for example, or all the meaningless commercial stuff we buy for the holidays that ends up in landfills. The holidays are a good time to look around and assess what is good stuff and what is bad. It might disappoint some…

December is in full swing, and the holiday season can be a fun and festive time of year. Yet, it can also create numerous challenges for many people, especially those in recovery or struggling with an ongoing substance use disorder.

Earlier this year my husband and I went on a trip to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. While there we visited Saratoga National Historical Park, where a pivotal revolutionary battle took place in 1777. It was the first significant victory for the patriots as it ended British General John…

During this Christmas season, who is more loved and revered than Santa Claus himself? Saint Nick in his striking red outfit with his white flowing beard is everywhere, at holiday strolls, in TV commercials and shopping malls.

I couldn’t help but think of a scene I saw in a recent Hallmark movie as I walked through Wilcox Park last week. It was aglow with lights. I was overwhelmed as I walked through the tunnel of stars. It was breathtaking. The park was filled with people, giddy and joyfully pointing out the vari…

Light takes on a special character this time of year. Sunny days seem sunnier and more crisp with trees mostly bare of leaves. Dark and stormy days are even darker and shorter. Christmas lights brighten our homes and neighborhoods in a playful way, sending drabness scurrying. The mystery evo…

What a wonderful world if people could be as generous to humankind as dogs. Regardless of our faults, dogs provide unfailing loving care. A new study suggests dogs may be able to use their sniffing powers to know when someone is having a really bad day.

I absolutely love this time of year. The twinkling lights and decorations at every turn. The carols. The smell of fresh-baked cookies. The eggnog (oh, the eggnog). I can’t get enough! In an attempt to fully immerse myself in the Christmas spirit, I’m making it a point to watch and read as ma…

This is the time of year when we look back and look ahead. A new year often brings new hope and the effort to make constructive changes in our lives and often the lives of others. “I’m going to lose weight, start a hobby, get those house projects off the Honey Do list, finally get to Ireland…

‘Ho, ho, ho, Thank you children. Just wait till you see the gift I’ve brought for you!” That’s my first line in Luis Pabon’s Dance Arts Center production of “A Dream of a Nutcracker.” It sounds more like a line Santa would say but it actually belongs to Judge Drosselmeier. It’s a role I play…